Chapter 23_post0

Genetics: A Conceptual Approach

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Chapter 23 Cancer Genetics Dr. Ed Otto George Mason University
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Key objectives Discuss characteristics of cancer cells Examine genetic alterations that cause or contribute to cancer
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Cancer Every year cancer kills one in five people in the US Cancer is not a single disease– it is a heterogeneous group of disorders characterized by cells that do not respond to normal controls on division Cancer cells divide rapidly and continuously - If cancer cells remain localized, the tumor is benign - If they invade other tissues, the tumor is malignant Cancer cells can travel to other sites in the body to form secondary tumors (process called metastasis)
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Cancer Lung cancer metastasized to liver
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Cancer Most common cancers in the US are breast, prostate, lung, and colorectal cancer Deadliest (least treatable): lung, pancreatic, liver, and brain cancers
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Cancer Cancer is a genetic disease Several early observations suggested that cancer results from genetic damage - can be induced by mutagens (carcinogens) - some cancer associated with specific chromosomal abnormalities (e.g. 90% of people with chronic myelogenous leukemia have a reciprocal translocation between chromosome 22 and 9) - some types of cancer run in families
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Cancer However, other observations raised questions about a genetic link - if cancer is inherited, why don’t all cells in the body become cancerous (every cell should inherit a cancer causing gene) - many cancers do not run in families; cancers arise in families with no history of the disease
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Cancer Today we know that cancer is the result of a multistep process that requires several mutations If one or more of these mutations is inherited, fewer additional mutations are required to produce cancer - individuals inherit a predisposition for cancer - in these individuals, fewer additional mutations are required to cause cancer than in individuals who are not predisposed
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Clonal Evolution of Tumors Cancer begins when a single cell undergoes a mutation that causes the cell to divide rapidly As the cell divides, it gives rise to a clone of cells that carry the same mutation As cancer cells grow, additional mutations may arise in subsets of cells, which in some cases may further enhance the ability of these cells to proliferate or to invade other tissues Overall process is referred to as clonal evolution
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Clonal Evolution of Tumors
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Chapter 23_post0 - Chapter 23 Cancer Genetics Dr. Ed Otto...

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